Monday, April 12, 2010

pears in riesling with blue cheese

you will need a mixing bowl, whisk, zester, glass baking dish, small saucepan and dessert cups
yields 4 servings

4 bosc pears with stems (make sure they are ripe)
2 cups riesling
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange zest
4 cinnamon sticks
4 bay leaves
4 strips orange peel
6 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles

preheat oven to 400 degrees.
cut bottom of pear flat and place in a square glass baking dish or glass pie pan.
whisk wine, honey, nutmeg and orange zest in a medium bowl until well blended; pour over pears.
add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange peel slivers to the liquid.
bake pears, basting every 10 to 15 minutes, until they are wrinkled and tender (45 minutes to 1 hour).
remove pears to shallow dessert bowls and chill. remove bay leaves and throw away. remove cinnamon stick but keep to use as garnish if desired.
pour the wine mixture into a small saucepan; bring to a boil until thickened (6 to 10 minutes). add 2 tablespoons blue cheese and melt.
when ready to serve, drizzle warm liquid over cold pears. arrange 1 tablespoon blue cheese at the base of each pear and cinnamon stick garnish.

**also good with red wine (use sugar instead of honey), dried cherries and ricotta; chenin blanc, crystallized ginger and dill havarti; drizzled with melted dark chocolate, slivered almonds and creme fraiche.

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